November 17, 2012

Dazzle's Tail

Warning- this post gets graphic in it's description, so if you are squeamish, skip it.

His poor tail continues to get worse and I'm not sure what to do.  This has been going on since September and has been very slowly spreading, affecting more and more of his tail.  

He just saw the vet on Thursday and got more Prednesone and some oral antibiotics. She recommended I stop the topical prednisone in case that was delaying healing so I haven't put that on him.  On Thursday evening, he was doing really well and was able to spend some time (supervised) out of the muzzle so he could squish a ball and play a bit.  Friday morning he has a chiropractic exam that he definitely needed and his runs that night at agility practice were really great! 

Today (Saturday) has been another story.  He's back to obsessing over it, which I figured meant either a small infected spot or a swollen pocket full of blood (both of which I had found on his tail in the past 2 weeks).  In his efforts to lick his tail, he smashed the muzzle into it and partially ripped off one of the scabs.  Since it was loose, I pulled it the rest of the way off.  It was infected alright and a big chunk of nasty looking skin came off with it.  Now he has a deep spot of what looks like gooey flesh.  I flushed it and wrapped it just long enough to stop the seeping blood/pus.

I just unwrapped it again to let it air and to apply the prednisone spray, since that seemed to be working to at least slow the progression of whatever this mess is.  And because 2 days without it clearly made it worse.

He has an appointment a week from Tuesday to see a canine dermatologist but I'm honestly not sure if he will have any flesh left on his tail by then.  I called the specialists office, since it's also an emergency clinic, but...
  • they don't have a dermotologist on staff during emergency hours
  • it's $80 just to walk in the door and
  • the entire bill is due before you walk out 
They would be able to culture it, but I have a feeling that will be expensive enough when done by the specialist without it being a test/proceedure done by an emergency vet. My vet said their lab wouldn't be as good as the one the specialist uses, so that's why we planned to let the specialist do it.

If I thought there might be a chance the emergency vet could do something different or know more than the two excellent vets that have already seen it, I would go.  But I have a strong suspicion it will only be a very expensive 3rd opinion and a 3rd doc that has no idea what the hell it is! 

Clearly the antibiotics (1000mg of cephalexin twice a day since Thursday am) hasn't kept it from getting infected or kept it from getting worse.  And the Genesis (prednesone) spray may have been helping.  But short of that, I have no idea what it might be.  And not knowing what to do is really bothering me. If you are reading this and have any ideas, contact me at DogScouts at hotmail dot com.

He was so obsessed about his tail that I gave him 2 benedryl to knock him out.  So now at least he's sleeping.  I feel so bad that I can't do anything to make it better for him!